Maria Sharapova Became Worldâ€™s No. 2
Maria Sharapova won her fifth title of the season Sunday, beating defending champion Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-2 in the Generali Ladies final and advancing to No. 2 in the rankings, AP reports.
Sharapova has won 16 straight matches and has not lost since before the start of her successful run to the U.S. Open title.
The top-seeded Russian overtook Justine Henin-Hardenne in the rankings and now trails only Amelie Mauresmo. Sharapova needs to win the season-ending WTA Championship in Madrid, Spain, to finish on top.
â€œIt is my dream to end the year on the No. 1 spot again,â€ Sharapova said.
Petrova, seeded second, won her first career title in Linz last year.
â€œI am so disappointed,â€ the Russian said. â€œI really got my chances in the first set. But after missing them, I just did not play up to my usual standards anymore.â€
Sharapova dominated from the start, breaking serve in the first game. But at 4-3 she double-faulted and lost her serve. Sharapova then saved two set points and later held serve and broke before serving out the set.
In the first game of the second set, Petrova lost serve again. She then had few chances against Sharapovaâ€™s strong serve.
â€œI started very well, but got a bit tired towards the end of the first set,â€ Sharapova said. â€œSaving the two set points gave me a huge boost. I always play my best tennis when under pressure.â€
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